A mural honoring Brooklyn gaming YouTuber, Daniel Desmond “Etika” Amofah, greets friends and fans known as ‘Joycon Boyz, ‘ to Bushwick. Amofah created videos about Nintendo games, and shared his life online until his suicide this past June. The mural depicts the gamer amongst Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers, and one of his catchphrases, “Take care of yourself. Have yourself a damn good one!”
A fellow New York YouTuber, Double A, collaborated with web designer Abe Hunter to commission the mural, and raise money for the National Alliance for Mental Illness. The two met Amofah a Switch launch event in 2017. After Amofah’s passing, Double A connected with local graffiti artist, kestaadm, and muralist, BKFoxx, to paint the gamer in Brooklyn.
In an interview with Kotaku, Hunter explained, “It’s not a mural to glamorize his death or the negativity. It’s more his life and getting the message out there that we can talk about mental illness. It’s not a taboo subject.” Hunter echoes sentiments from other gamers in the community about the need to change the rhetoric and conversation surrounding mental health.
In a video posted shortly before his death, Amofah vocalized that he felt the world was “going to forget him.” In the same Kotaku article, Double A professes “That’s just not true. We all miss him. We all love him.”
Joycon Boyz in town for Anime NYC, or the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield at Nintendo New York, were able to take the M to the Myrtle Ave Station to pay homage to Amofah, take photos, and connect with one another. The hashtag #JOYCONBOYZFOREVER links the community to Amofah and mural on Twitter and Instagram
The mural can be found at 1280 Myrtle Ave., near DeKalb, and 100% of the proceeds of merchandise on Amofah’s webstore will continue to go towards the National Alliance for Mental Illness.
Anyone struggling with mental health can get help by calling National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 or visiting this website. New Yorkers can also find resources by calling 1-888-NYC-WELL.
Cover image courtesy of the author.
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